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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ABC ranges over media low and high.

Jonathon Holmes on Media Watch on ABC television last night had a go at the full story behind the publication of the Telegraph photos and the weekend apology, describing the whole episode as "one of the most spectacular examples of lousy journalism we've seen in Australia for quite a while."

This followed the Four Corners program "The Dishonouring of Marcus Einfeld" where the former Federal Court judge and a man once listed as a national treasure just couldn't explain consistent lying to avoid paying a $77 traffic fine. He now has a couple of years in the slammer to think about it plenty more.

Couldn't help but wonder if NSW Crown Solicitor Ian Knight was watching. In October 2006 in a spectacular spray Knight spoke to a gathering of government lawyers about the "crisis" arising from excessive demands from Parliament and elsewhere for disclosure of information- FOI was a contributing factor. Knight gave the media a big clip around the ears for what he descibed in his speech as "the disgraceful treatment of former justice Einfeld." Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald had this to say at the time:
"The Crown Solicitor's commentary suggests that a misapprehension exists in senior legal circles that the Einfeld controversy is an aberrancy, the latest media blood sport, another beat-up. The opposite is true. The story is bigger than Einfeld. The judiciary was a fertile field for his portentous narcissism. A succession of magistrates failed to check his numerous evasions. It was the media, not the Crown, that finally brought this travesty to light"
In November 2006 Michael Beach and Viva Goldner of the Daily Telegraph received a Walkley Award for the best news report for their original story about Mr. Einfeld and uncovering his attempts to avoid traffic fines. The rest as they say.....

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